Amazing things can happen when a family comes together to do things together. A family that can bond together will be a family that is united forever. The world is fast paced and works against families being united and bonded together. Take the time to investigate the information and websites listed below.
10 Easy Tips to Foster Family Bonding and Child Development
Submitted by: John Hitchcock
Work, school, extracurricular activities; these daily activities that make our lives so busy create difficulties for parents to foster a bond with their children. While your children are out of school for the summer you can easily strengthen family relationships by spending time with one another, listening to each other, and respecting each other’s opinions. Below are ten easy things a parent can do to form stronger bonds with their children.
5. Many children have extracurricular activities like sports or dance. By involving yourself in these activities and praising them on their participation you are helping build their confidence as well as strengthening your bond.
6. Many parents know that reading to your child daily increases their literacy, but it also allows for a time when both parent and child are completely focused on one another and can communicate freely about the book or other subjects.
7. Teaching your children the importance of volunteerism and giving back by volunteering for a local charity or organization can show them the importance of what they have and make them a more socially conscience person.
8. Getting involved in your children’s hobbies, whether it is collecting baseball cards or horseback riding, shows your support of their chosen activity and allows them to feel they can express themselves in any way.
9. By encouraging your children to be active and exercising together you foster healthier habits for both you and your child while you both communicate about the activities you are doing.
10. Childhood, especially the adolescent years, is incredibly hard on the self esteem of many children. By telling a child you love them and giving compliments or positive feedback frequently you can foster their confidence and perception of themselves. By listening and being supportive of their ideas, even if you don’t agree, makes them feel as if they can come to you with their problems and discuss their true feelings.
There is nothing better than having a place you can call home, where you feel loved, appreciated and safe. As a parent, having a strong bond with your children creates a feeling of unity and safety. It is important to do all you can to create these family bonds to ensure a happier and healthier family. Following any of the above activities this summer can help assist you and your family in creating a strong life long bond and help foster better parenting skills for you.
Bio: As a licensed clinical social worker, John Hitchcock is the executive director of Hillsides, a Pasadena charity that creates safe places for children in foster care living in its residential treatment center and prevents the cycle of abuse for children at risk and their families. Hitchcock is an expert on child welfare issues and has a blog, http://www.createsafeplaces.blogspot.com , addressing foster care and child advocacy issues. To learn more about Hillsides, visit http://www.Hillsides.org.
The above article was borrowed from: http://www.searchwarp.com/swa229153.htm
The Working Parent’s Guide to Family Bonding
Whether you are the sole financial provider, or one of two working parents, or a single parent trying to make ends meet, working parents have a unique problem. How can we balance work with family time while still getting the most out of both? How can we be successful at our jobs and still have a close bond with our children? While it will take some effort, there are a few simple things that working parents can do to ensure a strong bond with their children.
This is especially important in families with more than one child. Kids need to know that they are important, and there is no better way to express that importance than by spending a little quality time one-on-one. It can be something as simple as reading a bedtime story together, or playing a game of catch, or even snuggling on the couch watching a favorite television show. Children thrive on closeness and individual attention – give it to them.
Spend time together as a whole family
Don’t neglect your parenting duties in lieu of “being a friend”
When you work long hours and spend a lot of time away from your kids, it may be tempting to want to “be friends” and leave the bad guy stuff to a daycare provider or the other parent. But this can actually damage your relationship with your kids. Children need guidance and boundaries, and even though you may want to be the “good guy,” it’s more important to be a role model that your children can respect. If one parent gets stuck with all the discipline, children will come to understand family roles that may not be ideal. Additionally, a parent who is too lenient toward his or her children may actually lose respect in those children’s eyes.
The article was borrowed from: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/226617/the_working_parents_guide_to_family.html
Family Day: A Bonding Tradition
Do you ever wonder how you will keep your family bonded? I have worked as a child and family counsellor for over a decade and keeping families bonded has been a particular goal of mine. Nine years ago when I held my daughter for the first time, the goal became personal. As my family grew, I knew I had to make a deeper time commitment in order to keep our relationships devoted. I wanted to avoid the pitfalls of my clients who found their families disconnected during crucial developmental stages. I could see that all the challenges my clients had faced could be challenges for me. That’s when I came up with the idea of celebrating a weekly tradition in bonding called Family Day.
Just like Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving, Family Day is a holiday of sorts that takes place on a weekly basis. We celebrate love, connection and the uniqueness of our family. We are committed to this day no matter what the obstacles: work, school, activities, sports or house maintenance. This is the day that we wake up as one and go to bed as one. Every moment is about togetherness, focus, and quality. We started the tradition in 1999. We kept the day simple but active since our children were three and five. They crawled into our bed first thing in the morning for cuddle time then we would head to the kitchen and make a special breakfast. After breakfast, we wrote up a list of activities on a scrap piece of paper. Everyone chose an activity giving each family member a chance to share his or her favorite games or events. I cannot tell you how many times in those early years that we played blocks, dolls or hide-n-seek but the activity was merely an avenue for relationship building.
The activities changed as the kids got older and included movies, hikes and day-long adventures. But when the day was done, we felt connected for the long, busy week ahead. Family Day might be a beneficial tradition for you. It has brought many of my clients’ families closer together, some that were on the brink of disconnection. This is how it works:
- Pick a day: We picked Sunday. A day is really a perfect amount of time to fulfill each person’s special activity. If you find a whole day is too hard on your schedules, then an evening could work too. For example, a Friday family game night might be fun or a Saturday pizza and a movie could work. Or expand on a time you already have in your schedule like church and breakfast.
- Wake up together: Our children are still young. They usually make their way into our bed so we wake up cuddling, wrestling, or playing a guessing game. I imagine when they are older we will meet them at the breakfast table but for now we all still fit across the queen sized mattress.
- Breakfast Time: Every holiday has a feast. Our feast is at Family Day breakfast. Everybody has a task as we all work hard to make the meal into an event. My son learned how to make coffee (with supervision) by the time he was four and my daughter makes her “famous” pancakes. We do not hold back at this meal. Our breakfast is filled with goodies.
- Family Day Journal: Although we spent years writing a list of activities on a scrap piece of paper, one Family Day I suggested we write our lists in a journal. From that point forward, after breakfast we brought out our Family Day Journal and took turns writing our special list. We even added a page of family news. We look back on our list every so often fondly remembering our past Family Days.
- Family Day Activities: In our family, we come up with eight Family Day activities. Because there are four of us, we each get two choices. The writer gets to pick who is first, second, and third. The writer shares his/her pick last. Ideas will vary with your children’s age. My son tends to pick hide-n-seek whereas my daughter tends to pick an art project. My husband likes to pick board games and I like to pick movies. No matter the choice, we participate. My husband scoots under the bed during hide-n-seek and my daughter launches air rockets in the backyard. Our list has included: hide-n-seek, a board game at coffee shop, planting a vegetable garden, baking cookies, making paper dolls, playing dolls, building a city with blocks, making up a scary story, going for ice cream, renting movies at home or going to a movie, painting each other’s portrait on canvas place mats, decorating bird houses, making Christmas gifts, carving pumpkins, enjoying a spa night, rock climbing, hosting an International Ping-Pong Invitational, putting together puzzles, playing house, playing I-spy with a special shell we found at the beach on our last Family Day, playing bingo, going to visit family, adventuring out to a museum, telling tall tales, making clay models, and so much more. The list is prioritized in terms of time-line or we’ll put the ideas in a basket and draw. Although we parents do have some veto power (i.e. money or time constraints), generally anything the kids pick is accepted (Oh yeah, we can get vetoed too! Fair is fair.)
- Commitment: We are committed to Family Day every week, however, there are some exceptions. For instance, if I am going on a training weekend or my husband has a conflicting job, Family Day will be carried on by the parent at home or we will reschedule it in advance to Saturday. Our friends and family know that we are not available on Sunday because we are focusing on each other. After four-years, I can honestly say we have never missed a Family Day.
Activities to choose:
- A disco party like in the picture above.
- a board game at coffee shop
- planting a vegetable garden
- baking cookies using your own receipt
- making inventions out of recycling
- playing with dolls who vacation in a ghost town
- building a city with blocks
- taking a road trip to a small town and playing putt-putt golf
- making up a scary story
- going for ice cream at a little shop along the water
- renting old movies and eating caramel and popcorn
- going to a new movie and smuggling in candy
- painting each other’s portrait on canvas place mats
- decorating bird houses
- making holiday gifts like beaded jewelry
- carving pumpkins and baking the seeds
- having a spa night where everyone gets special treatment, candles are lit, and relaxing music plays
- reading stories to each other
- rock climbing
- hosting an International Ping-Pong Invitational
- putting together puzzles
- playing house by reversing roles
- playing I-spy with a special shell that you found at the beach on your last Family Day
- playing bingo with a grand prize of another Family Day choice
- adventuring out to a museum then talking about it by the fire that night
- telling tall tales
- making clay models of your favorite pet
Of course, you’ll develop your own list. Be creative and let your children share their ideas and creativity. Remember, everyone participates!
The benefits of committing to your family are enormous. For one, you ensure bonding throughout the stages and ages. Bonding is nurtured when you show your child how important they are by spending time with them, giving them choice and getting on their level. That may mean playing blocks with your three-year-old or going shopping with your teenager. A solid bond will decrease the chance of family crisis and ward off troubled behavior for your child. Another benefit is that your child can feel secure in knowing that mom or dad may be busy today but they will be completely attentive on Sunday. Also, Family Day ensures your time with your child. Just imagine–no more guilt when you have to turn down your child in lieu of the dishes or an important phone call. Although Family Day does not replace consistent love and attentiveness, Family Day sets aside a time for purposeful bonding. Create a bonding tradition and enjoy Family Day!
Written by Laura Doerflinger, MS, LMHC, Child and Family Counselor, Freelance Writer, and Parent. Visit Tricks of the Trade: Parenting Secrets
The article above was borrowed from: http://www.familyrapp.com/Results/archive_results_details.asp?ArticleID=945
The Importance Of Family Dinner
You’ve probably heard the saying “The Family That Plays Together – Stays Together”. While that’s certainly true, there’s another important activity that the whole family should be doing together – eating dinner. With weird work schedules and after-school activities, family schedules are becoming crazy. When it comes time to eat dinner, everyone just grabs something wherever and whenever they get a chance. Unfortunately, this means that you and your family are missing out on some important bonding and more.
Here are a few interesting facts in regards to family dinners.
· “The average parent spends 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children… “(A.C. Nielsen Co.) By simply eating dinner together each night and making an effort to talk to your kids, you can easily more than quadruple that time. You get to know your child better and isn’t that the whole point of having a family?
· “Family dinners are more important than play, story time and other family events in the development of vocabulary of younger children.” (Harvard Research, 1996) The dinner table has always been the social center of families, so it is no wonder that that’s where our kids learn to talk. It gives them “real live” demonstrations and practice not only in speech but also social interactions.
· “Frequent family meals are associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using marijuana; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades in 11 to 18 year olds”. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2004.) By spending more quality time with your kids over dinner, you will quickly be alerted to any changes in your child, but you also develop a better relationship with your kids. Wouldn’t you want your child to come to you with his problems instead of turning to drinking, drugs, or considering taking his life?
· “The more often teens have dinner with their parents, the less time they spend with boyfriends or girlfriends, and the less likely they are to have sexually active friends”. (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University – 2004) Not only do your teens have less time to hang out with boyfriends and girlfriends, having a good relationship with you makes them less likely to search for closeness by becoming sexually active.
· “Adolescent girls who have frequent family meals, and a positive atmosphere during those meals, are less likely to have eating disorders”. (University of Minnesota, 2004) It is up to you to help your children develop a good relationship with food. Not only can you significantly lessen the chances that your daughter will develop a eating disorder, this is also your chance to teach everyone in the family good and healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
Isn’t that reason enough for you to bring the family dinner back? Sure, it can get a little tricky getting everyone together with our crazy schedules and having a hot meal cooked at the same time. But it is well worth the effort and once you get in the habit of eating dinner together as a family, it gets easier and no none would want to miss it.
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Now take it a step further and start cooking with your children.
The article above was borrowed from: http://www.menuplanningcentral.com/articles/family-dinner.html
While individual time is important, it’s also important to bond and play as a whole family. Institute a family game or movie night, where the whole family sits down together to have fun as a group. Weekend family outings can also be a great way to reconnect as a family. Be sure that whatever activity you choose, it’s something that the whole family can enjoy. Just because you may be interested in the museum of military history does not mean that your eight-year-old daughter will have a good time.
Forever” Having family is very comforting and being with family is like coming home! … These are feelings I have when I think of family.
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